Jessica HiltabidelElementary School Principal
Jessica Hiltabidel, DC Scholars Elementary School Principal, has vision for school success that is based on the belief that all children are born with a natural curiosity and love of learning that must be nurtured by all educators. She began her career as an elementary school special education teacher in Baltimore City, then she served as the founding middle school math teacher and team lead as the school expanded. As a trainer of DC teachers and administrators at the Center for Inspired Teaching, Ms. Hiltabidel was featured as a presenter at national conferences including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and in the media with CCTV/CGTN where she has spoken with international audiences about the importance of the teacher as the greatest factor of influence and change in the field of education. Ms. Hiltabidel is an alumna of The Johns Hopkins University where she double majored in Biology and Psychological & Brain Sciences. She entered the teaching profession through the Baltimore City Teaching Residency and received her Master’s in Leadership and Teaching from the Notre Dame of Maryland University with a specialty in reading instruction and special education. She also served as the National President/CEO of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/ Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc., a Latina interest organization dedicated to the empowerment of women of color.
Tanesha DixonMiddle School (5th – 7th) School Director
Tanesha Dixon, DC Scholars Public Charter School’s founding Middle School Principal, has a vision for personalized, excellent instruction for urban, public middle school in Washington, DC. Prior to joining the DC Scholars Public Charter School team, Tanesha Dixon was a principal fellow in the District of Columbia Public Schools. She is also an inaugural member of the Education Innovation Fellowship (EIF), a partnership of CityBridge Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund. As an EIF, Tanesha spent a year exploring, designing and implementing innovations in blended and personalized learning in her classroom and school, Wheatley Educational Campus. As a result, Tanesha’s work has been highlighted in several national publications and outlets including the American Enterprise Institute Full Report on Blended Learning in DC, Digital Promise, and the Discovery Education’s Future@Now Live Digital Classroom with former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Most noteworthy, she led the Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) Breakthrough Schools team, which focused on redesigning an urban, public middle school into a Competency-based Learning Model. Prior to teaching and leading in Washington, D.C., Tanesha was both a middle and high school teacher in Gainesville, FL, where she was honored as the county's Middle School Teacher of the Year. She received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a Master's degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Florida.